“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion…” (Isaiah 61:1-3a)
Thirty years ago I was presented for Ordination to ministry in the United Church of Christ. The words of the service itself are proscribed by the UCC, but I was able to make the choice about scripture to be used. I chose my favorite passage (from Romans 8:28-39), the passage from Isaiah 40:28-31, and the words above. I invite you to look up the other two passages.
On June 15 during our regular morning worship, we will celebrate that Anniversary of my Ordination. I remember the passages of scripture that were used. I remember my father preached the sermon. More than anything else, I remember when I knelt and many clergy who were friends coming forward to lay their hands on me during the prayer.
That “laying on of hands” was extraordinary. I had the feeling that God’s hand was there as well. And that’s what the passage from Isaiah is talking about. God calls all of us to minister in the church! However, there are some of us who are called to a special ministry. I feel fortunate that I am one of those folks.
We often celebrate special days. I invite you to share with me in celebrating this special day in my life. Because worship is important in my call to ministry, we will celebrate in worship. (I understand there will be a celebration following worship as well – I just don’t know exactly what that will be.)
Both of my children and my parents will be present for that special day. Rev. David Gaewski, our New York Conference Minister will be present and will preach. The Touch of Brass will be coming to play. I hope you will be present with us, too.
God’s call to me has been exciting and at times terrifying. It has been fun and sorrowful. It has been frustrating and fulfilling. But always I have felt it was God’s Spirit that was with me in my ministry. That is what I will be celebrating on June 15!